Nino Schurter hints retirement from professional mountain biking: "This race is very emotional for me"
With 10 World Championships, 1 Olympic gold and 34 World Cup victories, Switzerland's Nino Schurter is already widely regarded as the greatest XC rider of all time. In Lenzerheide he won his 34th victory, breaking the all-time record he had previously shared with Julien Absalon. But on that mythical circuit he also announced that his retirement from professional mountain biking is near.
Nino Schurter sets retirement date
Lenzerheide is perhaps Nino Schurter's favorite race as it is held in Switzerland, very close to his home, and there he has starred in some of the most special moments of his sporting career. But days earlier we learned that Lenzerheide will not be on the 2024 calendar and may return in 2025. This date is important to understand Schurter's statements.
Just before the XCO race, Schurter said, "This is also a bit emotional for me, as it probably going to be my last race here."
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With that sentence, Nino Schurter set a deadline for his retirement in 2024 at the latest, which would make sense if he wants to at least try to win a second Olympic gold at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, something very difficult if we take into account that he will be 38 years old and is expected to meet Van der Poel and Pidcock, among others. But on the other hand, he could even retire at the end of 2023, as he himself said in this interview that he might not be at the Olympics: "If I see I can't reach anymore where I love to be, then I probably give the possibility to another Swiss rider."
There is no doubt that Nino Schurter's case is unique and that at 37 years of age he still has the ability to win races, even with the increased level of competition in recent years, leaves him the option to decide for himself when he wants to retire.